The CJA was among the invited guests at the opening of a week-long exhibition by the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada.
The May 5, 2014 event in Toronto was launched with a reception attended by leaders of the ethnic media, municipal and provincial dignitaries including Toronto Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Kelly announced that Toronto has officially proclaimed May 5 to 11 as Freedom of Information Week, calling it an opportunity for citizens to join with media professionals around the world to honour their work and remember the sacrifices that members of the media have made while doing their jobs.
“This week also seeks to raise an awareness of the violations of press freedom that occur in countries around the world where journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, detained, attacked and killed in trying to perform their work-related duties,” Kelly said.
Thomas Saras, president and CEO of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council paid tribute to journalists who have been threatened and killed for carrying out their jobs. He echoed a message the CJA highlighted in its World Press Freedom Day statement – that journalists must hold to the highest possible professional standards because the authority to hold the powerful to account depends on maintaining the public’s trust.
Pat Perkel, executive director of the CJA, brought greetings and congratulated the National Ethnic Press and Media Council for its role in nurturing a vibrant media community. Reinforcing the CJA’s WPFD statement that no country is exempt from examining and ensuring media freedom in its borders, she reminded government leaders that a free media is a cornerstone of good governance.
The Canada’s National Ethnic Press and Media Council represents what it calls the “Other Voices” of Canada, with newspapers, on line publications and broadcast stations representing citizens with ties to scores of countries around the globe. Among the Commonwealth countries represented by the National Ethnic Press are Sri Lanka, Ghana, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ireland, India, Bangladesh, Jamaica, Guyana, and Malaysia.
Photo: Toronto Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, left, receives certificate of appreciation from Thomas Saras, CEO and President of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada.